I made a mistake in my webinar and I can’t do take-backsies, but I can expand the issue a little here.
I participated in a CLA Spring Fling webinar last week with the fabulous Eva Mitnick (LAPL) and the forward-thinking Elaine Meyers. The webinar was entitled Every Child Reading to Read 2 in Action; Eva talked about implementing ECRR2 at LAPL, Elaine discussed space, and my part was how ECRR2 now includes digital media.
At the end of my session someone asked if it would be appropriate to use an iPad when visiting preschools, and I said that since what we want to do most of all is model for parents and caregivers the best use of media with young children, perhaps we shouldn’t whip out the iPad at every preschool visit. (Not the exact wording, and when the archived version comes out I’ll go back and check). I cringe even admitting that I said that. Preschools teachers are caregivers! We need to be modeling for THEM how to use high quality children’s media with young children, though, to be honest, early childhood educators and their governing organizations are far ahead of libraryland when it comes to the theory, research and official stance taking on the use of digital media with young children. We need to be partnering more with early childhood educators (ie and not attacking them, like the shameful exchange that took place on the ALSC blog recently).
I do think that if you’re considering bringing an iPad with you to a preschool/school visit, you should communicate with the administration/teachers beforehand, because some schools DO have a very strict no-screen policy (like my son’s preschool!) I think I must have been wearing my mom hat and not my librarian hat when I responded to this question. I wish I could contact everyone who attended the webinar and further expand this conversation, but the best I can do is explain myself here, offer what the correct response should have been, and learn from this experience.
I don’t think that the use of an technology in storytime is always appropriate (like I wrote about here); we must alway use the best tools for the job. Sometimes an iPad is appropriate, sometimes it isn’t. Our job is to develop in ourselves the competencies to discern when and how to use which tools, and to communicate to our communities (families, caregivers, preschool teachers, administrators and other community stakeholders) the reasoning behind our inclusion or exclusion of technology in early literacy programs.
I’m going to be presenting a webinar with Eva Mitnick and Elaine Meyers for the California Library Association’s Spring Fling. My part of the panel will focus on incorporating apps and eBooks into ECRR programs. Looks like there might be some scholarships available to attend; check it out!
Every Child Reading to Read 2 in Action
Wednesday, April 24, 2013
Presenters: Cen Campbell, Children’s Librarian, Santa Clara County Library District; Elaine Meyers, Consultant; Eva Mitnick, Coordinator of Children’s Services, Los Angeles Public Library.
This workshop will provide participants with an introduction to the Every Child Ready to Read 2 (ECRR2) initiative and a guide to implementing it successfully in your library. Presenters will focus on staff training, community outreach, incorporating digital media in ECRR2, creating literacy spaces, and making the best use of ECRR2 materials. The webinar is presented by CLA’s Youth Services Interest Group.
About the presenters
Cen Campbell is a children’s librarian at the Santa Clara County Library District and the Mountain View Public Library, and a children’s digital services consultant at LittleeLit.com. She has driven a bookmobile, managed branch libraries, developed innovative programs for babies, young children and teens, and now helps other libraries incorporate digital media into their early literacy programming. She attended the California State Library’s Eureka Leadership Institute in 2008 and now serves on the ALSC Children & Technology committee.
Elaine Meyers worked for over thirty years in public library administration and program coordination. Her primary responsibilities included youth services, programming, community partnerships, evaluation, staff development and training. Elaine is currently consulting with national organizations, state libraries, and a variety of public libraries and non-profits. She is a member of the Aurora Free Library Library Board and volunteer grant writer for the Aurora Free Library and Hazard Library in Cayuga County NY.
Eva Mitnick is Coordinator of Children’s Services at the Los Angeles Public Library, where she has worked since 1987. She has served on several CLA and ALA committees and is also an adjunct professor at UCLA’s Graduate School of Education & Information Studies, teaching courses on library services to children. During 2011 and 2012, the Los Angeles Public Library conducted the first formal review of the implementation of ECRR2 in a project spearheaded by Mitnick.